A formation course for new Kumar-Kumari teachers at Merigar West, Italy, unfolded over a period of six days, from July 3rd to July 8th, with both morning and afternoon sessions – six hours daily to practice and deepen one’s knowledge of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu’s Kumar Kumari Yantra Yoga. This precious teaching was created precisely for a child’s condition, their body and breathing.
The first two days were dedicated to explaining and practicing, led by Laura Evangelisti, of kumar kumar’s 16 movements (Purification breath, Tsigjongs, Lugsangs, Tsandul, the three Yantra) and its particular sounds used with breathing. The Tibetan letters for each of the ten sounds were displayed and each sound with breathing practiced again and again. Accompanying Laura’s work, Michele Corrado explained the benefits of each movement, based on his knowledge of Tibetan Medicine with emphasis on channels, chakras and pranas that circulate in the body.
As the days proceeded there was daily practice of kumar-kumar movements, emphasizing the importance for the children (and teachers) to use both the nose and mouth when breathing and making the sounds.
The course was enriched by daily presenters and discussions that ensued. Fulvio Grosso, yantra yoga instructor, outlined a child’s physiology and physical education in school for children 6 to 12 years. Cristiana Manzi, who works in the Amiata area as a psychotherapist and occupational therapist (psychomotorial development) presented working with children in a group, with your role as the conductor. Fabiana Esca made everyone re-connect with childhood emotions through music and movement, considering the vital elements of a child’s emotions and expression. With Kumar-Kumar movements as the center of a lesson, there is also time for warm up exercises, games, activities with cards and songs, a treasure house offered by Dina Priymak. Constance Soehnlen emphasized the balance and space that a kumar kumari lesson should have, showing videos of school lessons.
Our last session centered on future steps; Fiorella Minetti helped participants look at financing, tools and materials for projects, various calls for bids available to consider and possibly plug into and Ati Yoga Foundation as a support. Reworking of the training program started immediately with a look at what we have and what is needed now.
Participants of the course, Yantra Yoga instructors and educators, primarily from Italy, received a certificate of participation in the 40 hour course. Within days a group chat was activated with a rich exchange of materials, books, ideas, comments. The next steps of supervision, working alongside present kumar kumari teachers and gaining experience with children were discussed.
One of the most fun and enjoyable sessions was brain-storming images for a set of Kumar Kumari cards to be used in lessons. How significant and fortunate that the first course offered in Merigar in its re-opening and under the new Gakyil is one for the benefit of children.
A date has been set to reunite participants for a weekend of practice this coming September. Hope to see you then!
July 16, 2021
Photos by Fiorello Minetti